tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 21, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
insights on the image, the manufacturing, the talk of deals and how it all really went down. i'm excited about that. i hope you'll join us at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. but don't go anywhere because "hardball" is up next. towering ambition. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. and while he was pitching the american people to make him president, was he also pitching putin for a trump tower in moscow. that is the astounding suggestion from the president's own personal lawyer. an interview on the "meet the press" yesterday rudy giuliani admitted the president had continuing conversations about building a trump tower in moscow as far as october or november of 2016. right up to his election. here he is. >> well, it is our understanding
that they went on throughout 2016, weren't a lot of them but there were conversations. can't be sure of the exact dates but the president can remember having conversations with him about it. >> throughout 2016? >> yeah, probably up to -- could be up to as far as october, november. our answer is cover until election so any time during that period they could have talked about it. >> well the finaling of the negotiations is essential in the ongoing investigation by special counsel robert mueller. and yesterday giuliani acknowledged that trump told mueller about the talks with russia. take a look. >> said the president is not sure when talks ended. i'm guessing you had to answer this question in written form by mr. mueller. >> that is where we ended it. >> that is such a key line. in other words -- the
president's response to robert mueller in written form, that is the first indication we got of any of the written responses, including that he was negotiating for getting that hotel built in moscow right up until the election. until recently president trump told voters had zero business ties to russia and his lawyer said that the negotiations started back in january of 2016, the beginning of the election year and last month cohen's lawyers indicated he lied to congress and the actual date was in june of 2016. but trump had long been known to be pursuing business interest in russia but the revelations by giuliani yesterday that the president was working on a deal coincides with the solicitation with putin while on the presidential trail. let's take a look. >> in terms of leadership, he's getting an a. and our president is not doing so well. >> the person that kills journalists and political opponents and -- and invades
countries. obviously that would be a concern, would it not. >> he's running his country. at least he's a leader. unlike what we have in this country. >> i'll do things with putin that nobody else is going to be able to do. believe me. >> i don't like the way obama treats putin. >> putin said trump is brilliant. >> wouldn't it be nice if we could get along with russia. >> i think putin is a long stronger leader for russia, yonger than our leader. >> putin said donald trump is a genius. he'll be the next leader of the united states. >> putin did call me a genius. >> i'm not disavowing anything. >> when people like me, i like them. even putin. >> today giuliani issued a statement trying walk back his comments writing his recent statements were, quite, hypothetical and not based on conversations i had with the president. my comments did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any such discussions. for more i'm joined by congressman deny heck, democrat from the state of washington and member of the house intelligence committee. ben wittes from law fair.
betsy woodruff from the daily beast and mal nom nance, author of "the plot to destroy democracy." at the same time he's shining up putin and arg wooing with joe scarborough, even though he kills people i like this guy and fighting with katy tur trying to make the case to all of our constituents and commentators, all of the time he's winding his way into a nice fat deal to give him $300 million to be his gain for the tower. i a-- i think he should have tod us who he is working for and who he is working with. who do you think? >> absolutely. we talk about consciousness of guilt with the way donald trump talks about putin and his policies. we should talk about the smugness of guilt when it comes to donald trump. he seems to have had this attitude towards the entire conversation knowing that he had
already offered a bribe to vladimir putin in the form of a $50 million penthouse at the top of trump tower. he knew all of these negotiations were going on. he was actually briefed by the fbi given a counterintelligence brief that stated that he may be involved in a situation where russia is trying to gain leverage on him and he already knew this. donald trump has been playing this nation from the beginning. and if this is where robert mueller is going, i think this one point is going to be relatively easy to clarify with the testimony of michael cohen. but i think this is going to be the least of the charges donald trump is going to end up with. >> let's get to the major ethical problem here. congressman, what i know about the may 15 report, that you and other members of congress have to fill out and if you owe anybody any money or owe any liabilities or stock holdings. here is a guy in bed with putin
for a $300 million deal to give him $50 million in a permanent -- permanent place at the top. a penthouse apartment in the wealthiest hotel in moscow and this is all going on at the time he's promised the american people he's going to be their servant. >> absolutely. and so obviously what we all want to know is not only why was he willing to do all of this, but more importantly why was he willing to lie about it? that is the question that gets begged by an awful lot of the developments here. not just why did this happen, but why does he want people around to keep lying. >> why do you think? >> the implication is pretty clear. but i have to ask -- >> what is the implication. spell it out. because people at home say he was a billionaire trying to make more billions and thought he could get a third of a billion on this one deal and wouldn't risk losing the election because he would lose to hillary clinton, that is what the polls show so he's trying to bank some money and get p.r. out of this presidential thing but he's really still a business guy.
is that illegal? >> it is a blatant conflict of interest for anybody that seeks the highest office in this land and wants to become the leader of the free world, period, full stop. >> donald trump the republican front-runner assured voters he had nothing to do with russia business-wise. take a look. >> i have nothing to do with russia. i don't have any jobs in russia. i'm all over the world but we're not involved in russia. >> i have no relationship to russia whatsoever. >> i don't deal there. i have no businesses. i have no loans from russia. >> have nothing to do with russia. >> i don't have any deals in russia. >> i have nothing to do with russia. >> i have no investigations in russia. none whatsoever. >> i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could have been in russia because we've stayed away. >> betsy thomas, they said the whole part of politics is the art of telling the truth.
was he artfully telling the truth then or lying. >> he was lying because he said he had no deals in russia and we know for annin couldn't voe vertible fact that his attorney said there was a potential deal in russia -- >> rudy said it is in his answers to robert mueller's question. his written answer. >> we have to take everything that mr. giuliani said on tv with a big hefty grain of salt. i have a conversation a month ago with felix sadir, a businessman the connective tissue. >> do you trust him? >> more than rudy giuliani about the negotiations. he was involved in them and rudy was not. saidir said he was trying to facilitate the interests in the tower and and that ended after the nomination and giuliani is saying that could have gone as late as november.
e., either giuliani is saying thing hes didn't know and b., they don't have a clear understanding within the president's legal team about what was actually being said. >> ben, this is the problem. he was asked by chuck todd, in this room yesterday, is this what you wrote in the answers to the questions from mueller? is this what the president wrote as his answers and he said, yes that is where we answered it. and in other words, he said this is tracking what the president said under oath. they were working on this business deal right until the election. >> a few things. if anybody but rudy giuliani had said this, it would have been -- it would be an extremely big deal. because it seems like a major admission that advances the ball factually in a way that is highly negative to the president. because it is rudy giuliani and as betsy said, being generous, that you have to take everything he said with a big grain of salt.
we have no idea what he means. >> is his job to distract the press from trump. is that the problem? every sunday he goes somewhere like "meet the press" in this room and says stuff that you say you don't believe and you don't believe so it doesn't mean anything, just distracts us for 24 hours. that is what you are saying. >> don't know where it is a deliberate function or what he said isn't true. the fact that he said it doesn't mean that we should invest anything in its being true. and i -- i do think we have to -- we have to consider the possibility that the talks may have gone much longer than we understood. i think we can also consider the possibility that rudy giuliani may have just been blowing smoke. >> congressman, let me go back to this. because chuck is darn good at this, and the question so pointed and well done as a journalist in this room with "meet the press" and he said i'm guessing you had to answer that question in written form by mr. mueller. at which point rudy giuliani answers, right.
that is where we answered it. could anything be more clear. cue, an answer, was this in the written response to mueller and yes, i was working on it to the election. was rudy making this up or does he tell truth for once? what do you make of it. >> chris, why is this guy still on the payroll. he goes on payroll and said truth isn't the truth. last week he claimed he had never said that no one on the trump campaign had colluded with russia and then said this yesterday. he was brought on board to deal with spin in politics, not the law, clearly not the law. he admitted at the outset he doesn't know the facts of the case and he's not doing a good job of dealing with the politics and the spin. why is this guy still on the payroll. >> malcolm, one outside chance in in instance he let the truth out. and this was the answer they gave because under oath in a written response to robert mueller, the president, even the president of the united states can't outward lie and say i had no business dealings when it would come out that he did have
business dealings. so is it possible here malcolm with our skepticism that rudely was accidentally stumbling over the truth and letting it out. your thoughts? >> well i've noticed that rudy giuliani tends to actually tell the truth in his first statement. and within 24 hours he tends to spin that backwards and say that -- offer a clarification to whatever he said the previous day. if he actually noted that this was one of the written statements that the president has made, then we are going to see a big contradiction between all of the visual -- the spoken statements that donald trump has said and then when he told the special counsel. only question i have is he hedging his bets by saying it could be any time up to november. if they were still in discussions in november in the pre-election season, what wouldn't -- what would cause them to stop having those conversations as the official elective body of the united states government after the
election? one thing to note, right after donald trump won the election, one of the first things that he said he wanted to do was eliminate the foreign corrupt practices act which would eliminate bribery around the world. maybe this is part of it. >> on friday the special counsel issued a rebuke of the buzzfeed reporting that alleged that michael cohen was instructed to lie to congress on behalf of donald trump. reports cited two federal law enforcement officials. peter carr, the special counsel spokesperson wrote, quote, buzzfeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel office and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office recording michael cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate. a source familiar with the matter tells nbc news the president's legal team raised concerns in a letter sent to the special counsel office about the buzzfeed reporting before they issued a statement. however, buzzfeed stands by its reporting. let's watch. >> this is going to be born out, brian. this story is accurate. >> what if -- what if the
sources are just wrong? >> they're not. >> not intentionally, not trying to hurt you, but what if they are wrong? >> they're not. they're not. i'm confident. >> anyway, ben, you're thinking of this. because this is a big story. the fact that the president has been accused and the special counsel is aware of this and accused of giving orders to michael cohen to lie. >> right. so this is a situation where the pendulum swung really fast and a lot of people went from oh, we're in impeachment land to kind of these -- sometimes very crude denunciation of these two recorde report -- these two reporters and i want to say i think this issue is complicated and i don't know what the truth is at this stage. on the one hand, you have two reporters with a real track record of breaking serious news in this area and who are standing by their work. and who have gotten big things right and been ahead of the game. and on the other hand, you have a very rare statement by the
special counsel office saying their aspects of this story that are not accurate and you have some reporting by the washington post about how the story came about that raises some interesting questions. so my caution to everyone is stay cool, and wait until the facts come out and don't be surprised if they're complicated and don't be surprised if there are some problems with the story and some things that are -- big things that may be accurate in the story. i don't know what the truth is. >> betsy, back in the old days of watergate, carl bernstein and bob woodward made a mistake. they had a piece of a story wrong but the heart of it was right. and this could well be another case like that. >> and i hate to speculate about a conversation that buzzfeed has characterized between the president and michael cohen that i don't have the ability to confirm or to prove as correct. one thing that is i think is important context as we talk about the story, is the actual nature of the statement that
mueller's office put it. it has been interpreted in circles meaning mueller was trying to shoot down the entirety of the buzzfeed story, they were trying to say everything in the buzzfeed story is the opposite of what happened but my understanding that is not true. the statement is narrowly tailored and goes after one pivotal claim in the buzzfeed report and that is the oath thing it goes after -- >> what is the point. >> and the claim is mueller has documents and witness testimony showing that trump told cohen to lie. the only thing mueller said in that statement is that specific claim is incorrect. they didn't say whether or not the president or michael cohen had such a conversation. or whether or not -- >> just like woodward and bernstein. did he thnt tell the grand jury. when somebody says they have experience in politics and journalism, when you say not accurate, that is not the same as saying not wrong. you say not accurate means something is wrong. congressman and deny heck of washington state and benjamin wittes and betsy woodruff and
malcolm nance. they'll stick with us. up next, another russian paradox. when it comes to dealing with putin right now, why is president trump so at odds with members of the administration. they are like cold warriors and he's trying to warm up and kiss up to putin all of the time. what is going on because we can't understand why this story is still ending between him and putin. a big new 2020 contender entered the race today. let's watch. >> this is a moment in time that i feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are. >> of course california senator kamala harris. i spoke with her today briefly on the train coming down from new york. fascinating. she's so excited about this race. you could tell. she looks today like a winner. more on that after this break. i. more on th aatfter this break. nk starts with looking at something old, and saying, "really?" so capital one is building something completely new. capital one cafes. inviting places with people here to help you,
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question of whether president trump was acting as a russian agent or a businessman simply out to exploit a presidential campaign, how about this one. why is the president consistently at odds with his own administration about how to deal with putin. "the new york times" reports that according to current and former administration officials trump, quote, has left it to others to publicly criticize russian actions while personally expressing admiration for mr. putin. an eagerness to be friends. >> i believe we will have a very good relationship with russia. i believe that i will have a very good relationship with putin. >> we don't trust russia. we don't trust putin. we never will. they're never going to be our friend. that is just a fact. >> that is president putin who annexed crimea. >> that is president obama's regime, during president obama, right? that was not during me. >> but it was -- >> no, that was president -- >> during annexation. >> no, it was president obama that allowed it to happen. >> the united states does not
and will not recognize the kremlin's annexation of crimea. >> and the question is right now, is this administration for risking another cold war or against it? betsy woodruff and malcolm nance have stuck with us. malcolm, you start, i wonder donald trump ran on an anti-neo campaign and we won't fight for iran or syria or none of that neo mission and then picks nikki haley and then john bolton and these people are out there as if they're working for w. again. >> well, donald trump lied. i mean, it is as simple as that. there is virtually nothing that he does within the body politic where you could express some semblance of organization or forethought. there is absolutely nothing. john bolton was somebody forced in because it was hardline against iran. he took him. he said nikki haley looked like
someone from central casting, very well regarded in the republican party. he does not care what they say. and it clearly reflects the bipolar nature of how donald trump likes to govern. he likes people who looks like they are in the job and he makes the decision. >> you're unbelievable, malcolm. that is hideous. that is absolutely hideous. but betsy i grew up in the cold war from 1947 we hid under our desks with this nuclear fire power and they have a lot of nuclears and 12th in the economy in the world but they are scary. are we risking war with them or are we trying to get past that? what is going on. >> i don't think it is realistic to say that we're at risk of war with russia right now. but the hot spot obviously has been syria. and one of the big -- >> are we going to fight for crimea? are we going to fight about crimea and ukraine?
is this country going to war. >> we didn't fight for -- >> pompeo wants to go -- >> it is occupied and it is remained in -- >> who is in charge. >> trump is in charge. >> and what is important aall of this dissidence within the trump administration is directly affecting how foreign policy works. bolton was in anchora this month and wanted to have a meeting with the turkish president erdo gone and he got snubbed because what erdo done argued was he was not -- >> malcolm, you know so much more about this underground world of spying and everything. having watched the americans, i know the resident -- the guy in washington, is a male usually, sitting in washington trying to explain to the people back in moscow what the americans are up to. what is the -- in this city of washington telling moscow in putin, is trump secretly
pro-putin because of old contacts to put it lightly. the dossier and et cetera, et cetera and the hotel or is he another cold warrior. what are they telling limb. >> well i think since the chief resident here in washington, d.c. would be a conduit back to moscow, to the handler of donald trump and that the the ex-kgb officer who -- former community who spent his life under the soviet union and now a billionaire oligarch for vladimir putin who is the handler of donald trump. this is a president who we found out and we mentioned this earlier, who offered a $50 million bribe in the form of a penthouse to an ex-kgb officer. anyone in the intelligence community and any case officer worth a salt would say this person can be bought, handled, manipulated and made to dance at the end of a string and that is what vladimir putin is doing.
believe me, there is no one inside of the russian shade of command handling donald trump except the spy matter and chief himself. >> and trump throwing in the monthly cost, in addition to the purchase price. the president high in this case. president trump announcement last month of a swift removal of u.s. troops from syria for example was widely seen as a win for russia. which has been a line with bashar al assad but again in a stance completely contrary to the president, national security adviser john bolton announced new conditions for the troops removal. and that could lead to a anything -- to a significant delay in the timeline to get out. who is winning here? the president is saying we're moving out and then bolton is going to the moftys -- to the movies with him. who is the boss? >> this is a key question about the way trump builds foreign policy. part of the reason bolton wanted to add new conditions to withdraw -- >> he's a neo-con.
>> because the united states has been supporting kurtish fighters and fighting isis in northern syria and they've been our alleys and working for what the united states wants and if the u.s. pulls out troops rapidly without plans in place to protect the kurds living in northern syria, a lot of people who took risks to work alongside the united states will be in danger. and that is part -- >> that is the marshall argument. >> russian is not an ally and the kurds are and trying to decide between the two and erred on the side of russia. >> and they want us to be a garrison in the middle east and want us to never leave so we'll be there. that we will -- we are the jarn don of the middle east. they've always wanted it. thank you. up next, another contender dives into what is expected to be, let's put it this way, a congested field for 2020. more on her announcement today and she is one of the top tier candidates. you're looking at her right now.
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african-american candidate and made up entirely of women. kamala harris and elizabeth warren and kirsten gillibrand. and andrea mitchell today asked her why she was the best person to beat donald trump. let's watch. >> i love my country. i love my country. and i feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are. and i'm prepared to fight and i know how to fight. and in particular, when we're talking about fighting for the values that we hold sacred and dear, when it comes to talking about how we fight for the american people, and have leadership in this country that is focused on the needs of the people instead of self interest, i'm prepared to fight that way. and i believe it will be a winning fight. >> the 17 or more other democrats say they love their country. why are you better than they? >> i think the voters will
decide, ultimately. >> i'm joined now by ruth marcus and editor for the washington post and jamal simons working on bill clinton and al gore's race and james pendle from the "boston globe." i have to go to jace. because i love the second contest of the 2020 race will be in new hampshire and historically the person from the nearest state tends to win out there. has warren got that locked up? >> no. because there is another senator from a neighboring state who won looft time by 22 points and his name is bernie sanders. right now in the state there is a bernie wing and you could include that with tulsi gabbard or others and elizabeth warren has had a strong true weeks in her campaign and been to the state twice. there is interest around here particularly as a women and after that, jay inslee is coming around tomorrow and there is a lot of kicking the tires and figuring out where things stand
but people are far from committing unless it is bernie and people are with bernie and other than that, wait to see what will happen and come through. >> let's see what happens with the base. bernie and beto and -- all of the b.'s. the women are not waiting to make up their minds. they're in this. but they are the ones making the fight. and the word fight is big. >> how great is this. >> tell me. >> i'll tell you. i think it is fantastic. i think it is fantastic that there is just not one woman in the race who is identified as the woman in the race, this is not the year of the women, this is the year of women. >> as they say in philly, the woman. >> and being a woman is not anomaly -- >> i'm sorry to push. is this coming forward from the me-too, from all of the stuff that happened? is this part of that. >> it is part of. >> that but it is also part of
hello, it is 2019, last i checked and women are half the planet and half of the sky and more than half of the electorate. so about darn time, i'd say. >> jamal, explain this part to me. i think the democrats have been a party which is freedom -- is freedom nated by women and look at the number of 60% in some places. the republican party has sort of semetric advantage among men but what do you make of the year? it looks like a woman -- not a glass ceiling but an edge. >> i will give credit here to hillary clinton also. hillary clinton ran this campaign that a lot of women were invested in. they thought she could win. they thought up until the day, the night of the election that she would win. >> so did everybody. >> and we saw these women run for every office across the state. people -- we don't think about this that much. democrats won four -- four
democratic women became governors and we don't talk about them enough. >> so you're saying it is a crack in the ceiling. >> this leadership of women is starting to take hold in the country. >> let's talk about today. according to politico harris's announcement on martin luther king day steeped in symbolism and the red and yellow color scheme for her campaign logo was inspired by former representative sherl leachman was the first of a person by a black political party and outlining the candid assy for the people. ruth, let's talk about this. i have to go to jamal about this. i have a feeling she'll set up headquarters in baltimore, an african-american town. >> yeah. i don't understand that. >> i'll explain. >> i don't understand why she's in baltimore. she's in oakland so she should be in octobakland. >> so put your headquarters in south carolina. so i think he sh -- she has a
lot of strength. she has a bio and keeping people out of recidivism. >> is she seen as african-american. >> the organization that she pulls up. >> yes, she's african-american. the fact she was at howard university, one of the oldest. i went to morehouse and we're older but she was at the university when she did her announcement and press conference and going to south carolina in the first week. >> yes. >> she's dancing her feet in the african-american community and i think she'll be a strong candidate. now cory booker is also going to dot same thing. >> is he running? is he another b. where is he? >> i think there is -- >> when is he coming -- >> you can't count out joe biden. he's been spending time down there for ten years and people down on the ground say he's got a lot of relationships very strong. >> in the black community. >> in the black community. he rode barack obama for eight years and a lot of african-americans give him credit for that.
i think if he gets in the race, he's be formidable but today is kamala harris's day and she deserves the credit because she's helping to set the pace for the race. >> and a celebration for martin luther king day, kirsten gillibrand attacked donald trump for creating racial divisions. let's watch. >> our president has chosen to tear this country apart. every line, every division, every racial line, every religious line. he chooses to divide us, community by community. he has inspired a hate and a darkness in this country that i have never witnessed myself. he is tearing apart the very fabric of who we are as a nation. our very common decency and that is what we are being called to fight against. >> ronald reagan once said sell the difference. he was good on television and did a lot of television. i just heard kamala harris will
sell the difference and she's african-american and spending time in baltimore and south carolina. isn't that what is going on? there are so many candidates, we're talking two or three dozen candidates, even on the left there is a lot of them are on, they have to sell the difference. >> you know, we don't know yet who is going to emerge, who is going to catch fire who is going to just have that spark with voters. i'm not betting on anybody. >> you're not betting? i thought you wera pundit. >> i am -- i am too smart a pundit to bet right now. >> go ahead, james. >> one thing that we speak at is how african-american voters will decide who the democratic nominee is in 2020. they did in 2008 and 2016, one of the biggest differences between hillary clinton and bernie sanders was her support among african-american voters. and i think if you look back 20, 30 years ago you would say the structural advantages would benefit someone like joe biden, the former vice president or basket, who came in number two
last time. they have name recognition and a fundraising network. but the structural advantages in 2020 are set up for someone like kamala harris. not only because she's a woman and minority and younger and california primary is sitting there on march 3rd which is going to really change the dynamics. and she is -- so far any way, perfectly understanding her advantages and she's playing right into it. >> i'm going to dance a little bit more, too, chris. it is not just black voters, it is black women voters. if black and white women like you, a democrat could be president. >> i saw that -- >> it is california money. >> i saw her on the train today and i -- a person who looks like she'll win. she looked like the winner today. thank you. online betting is coming. james, thank you so much. up next, entering the second month of the government shutdown. and federal worker rsz facing the prospect of another missed
paycheck. tomorrow is the deadline to get the checks ready. with democrats calling trump's latest offer a non-starter is there any hope this thing will end. "hardball" is back in a minute. . "hardball" is back in a minute to the cafeteria and just chow down midday? -you mean, like, lunch? -come on. voted "most likely to help people save $668 when they switch." -at this school? -didn't you get caught in the laminating machine? -ha. [ sighs ] -"box, have a great summer. danielle." ooh. danielle, control yourself. i'd like to slow it down here with a special discount for a special girl. danielle, this one's for you. with a special discount for a special girl. ♪ lookin' better than a body has a right to ♪ ♪ and shakin' me up so applebee's all you can eat is back. now with shrimp. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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welcome back to "hardball." as of this weekend, the longest ever government shutdown has passed the one-month mark. now in the 31st day with no resolution by tomorrow, more than 800,000 effected federal workers face the prospect of yet another missed paycheck. some of the workers spoke about the personal toll of the ongoing shutdown. >> we're going into the second pay period that we won't be getting paid for. i have college tuition i have to deal with, i have a medical expense i have to deal with. >> i'm donating plasma and cutting back on anything that we don't need. those are things i haven't ever had to do before. >> i'm with the department of
commerce and for four weeks, no check. >> all of that stuff that i would sell this summer, i'm going to be selling now. just to try to get some cash to keep us afloat. >> condo hasn't been paid and mortgage will be late february if they do come back. >> president trump tweeted support for federal workers last night write, to all of the great people who are working so hard for our country and not getting paid, i say thank you. you are great patriots and then added we'll win big. the president's words of encouragement come one day after presenting his proposal to end the five-week standoff. it promises $5.7 billion for border wall in exchange for temporary protection for so-called dreamers. those young people whose parents brought them to the country illegally but nancy pelosi already said that proposal is a
nonstarter in the house. president trump attacks speaker pelosi in a series of tweets saying, nancy pelosi and some of the democrats turned down my offer yesterday before i even got up to speak. they should do the right thing for the country and allow people to go back to work. well he later added, nancy pelosi has behaved so irrationally and gone so far to the left that she's now officially become a radical democrat. well a series of recent polls found a majority of americans blame president trump and the republicans for the week's long stalemate, not democrats. by margins of upward of 20 points. polls are very consistent. but it may not be those polls that the president is most concerned about in the ongoing standoff. and as one voice in particular that may be egging him on. we'll hear who that right-winger is after this break. is after this break. t conversat] ♪ [friend] i've never seen that before. ♪
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the diner staffed up 'cause they all needed lunch. teachers... doctors... jobs grew a bunch. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. energy lives here. welcome back to "hardball." over the weekend president trump floated proposal to end the shutdown, funding for the border wall in exchange for temporary protections for certain undocumented immigrants. he was many et with cold rejection on the right as well as the left. minutes after the president spoke, hard right commentator ana coulter saying we voted for trump and got jeb. i'm stunned. this presidency, talk about wag
the dog. this president is working for ann coulter. seems like that. >> well, ann coulter, rush limbaugh, those megavoices on the right speak to his base, and he's always worried about the base. when ann coulter yells and screams, he pays attention. that's how we got into this mess, remember. >> this is hard-core. this is about race, just a hunch. because the hard-core carries me about this wall than anything else and that's why he can't give up on it. >> how is he being puppeted around by coulter? she's anger when what he proposed on saturday. she thinks being jep is terrible >> you think he's going to go in this direction? >> what he offered is what he offered. she's reacting to what he offered. she's saying terrible jeb bush, the worst insult you could
possibly give. >> trump follows a pattern. there was a deal a month ago. they had a deal. and then went coulter and limbaugh started yelling and screaming, that's what he -- >> the guy doesn't know anything about daca. but he knows about that wall. that's what they want. they want the wall. that's the symbol. and nancy pelosi, do you think trump's figured out nancy pelosi yet? >> no. and i think they completely misread her. so i can tell you from my own reporting conversations, the white house genuinely believed that nancy pelosi was politically hamstrung late last year because she was desperate to get the speaker vote. they thought that the rivers would part. she gets the speaker vote, the rivers will part and suddenly she would negotiate for extra money on the wall. it's just delusional. >> they didn't count on ocasio-cortez and the others getting elected. >> absolutely right. they totally misread pelosi and
her situation. they thought she was being, you know, she was the puppet being dangled by her rank and file. he's nancy pelosi. >> who does she have to answer to? when she said immorality, that's not a starter for negotiation >> that precludes. look, she has been pretty definitive on her views about the wall, right? and so she can perhaps get more money for border security, perhaps it could be done in a way that he could claim a win or say -- >> what does she want because the people on his side said she must want something. >> she wants the government open first. and so she doesn't even have to go beyond that right now. at this particular time government open. the government should be open. and then we can talk about border security. >> that's not a deal for him.
what would she do to allow the wall? she wouldn't take anything for the wall >> seems like she won't give any extra money for the wall whatsoever. she wants total victory and for trump to give up what he considers his only leverage, which is to continue the shutdown. it's intractable. >> keep in mind, this is the initial clash that sets up the next two years, right? and so it's hard for anybody to back down from this >> i think this government shutdown is staying shut down. thank you, eugene swan? >> eugene swan. >> coming up, what anger is driving trump voters to want a wall? what would martin luther king jr. think of that wall. you're watching "hardball." g "h.
welcome back to "hardball." martin luther king day calls for a moment of reflection on not just the civil rights struggle which obviously continues, but about what our country stands for. there's nothing in the declaration of independence about this being a european country. indeed the first of these founding documents was meant to set us free from that imperial continent.
last night kathleen and i saw to kill a mockingbird up in new york. what struck me about a black man in alabama being railroaded on a trumped up case is the power of race, the power that lets otherwise people adjust the worst imaginable behavior to someone they both fear and condemn on the basis of his color. it's the electric chair or the rope for the black man for breaking the rules of jim crow. here we are in the 21st century almost 100 years after harper lee's story took place and the issue of color rears its head again, this time focused on the people coming from our southern border. it's the color of those people whose fore bearers were native to this continent. yes, there were other issues, but the angry behind this call for a wall is so blatantly about color that both sides can feel it in their bones. so we push on. but on this martin luther king day, we should take this moment to admit, all of us, that the
issue is about who is european in their background, not who is american. but what does that got to do with patriotism to this country and what it stands for? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> might have talked to him about his testimony? >> so what if he talked to him about it? >> the president's shifting story gets shiftier. >> can't be sure of the exact date but the president can remember having conversations. the president also remembers -- yeah, probably up to -- could be up to as far as october, november. >> tonight, the big questions, confusion and concern over what the president's lawyer is admitting and then retracting. plus, what we were know about the special coun